Monthly Archives: February 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Predicament

Although generally my obsessiveness with certain… perfections… can be helpful, there are times I worry that I go to far.

I have been doing a detox for the month of February. And now, on the last day… I’m so glad this month is over. Because although I have been eating well, the extremely strict rules I’ve subjected myself to means that I haven’t been enjoying much of a social life these days.

Have I mentioned the rules? My rules? The rules I’ve put on myself like a bully? No? Well, here they are:

1. No booze.
2. No wheat.
3. No gluten.
4. No coffee.
5. No sugar.
6. No preservatives.
7. No dairy.
8. No fruit.
9. No artificial sweeteners.
10. No legumes.

So what have I been ingesting? Mostly meat and vegetables. And it has been wonderful. I’ve had fresh scallops pan fried in purified butter with farmer’s bacon, roasted oak-smoked garlic and freshly cut cilantro. I’ve had bunless burgers with home-made guacamole and salsa served with sweet potato fries dipped in chipotle mayonnaise. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

But that was here, in my house. Where I can control each and every ingredient. You know where you can’t do that? Everywhere else. So I haven’t been eating in restaurants. The lack of alcohol (or really, any alternative drinks one would normally have in a pub, like Diet Coke or juice) means that I’m not really into going out for drinks. So I haven’t been out much.

The upside is that I’ve saved enough money doing this that I was able to buy two pairs of new shoes. Mmmm…. new shoes.

So what’s the issue? I’m obsessive about details.

This means I haven’t slipped. Not once. For the entire month. I couldn’t relax about it. Even the fact that I wouldn’t go out and risk accidentally eating something on my “No no, bad Jodi” list is sort of wrong. Don’t you think?

Not weird enough? How about the fact that I’ve been dreaming about breaking the rules? Obsessive.

Now that I’m  the end of the month, I’m not going to go back to my old way of eating. Because that would also be stupid… it’s how I got to be a chubbo in the first place. But I do need to relax a bit or I’m going to drive myself insane.

When I wasn’t eating well at all (helllOOOOooo pizza and beer), it didn’t matter if once (or even twice) a week I ate a good, healthy meal. I still packed on the weight.  What I need to remember  now is that the opposite also holds true:  If I am eating well most of the time, it won’t matter if I eat something unhealthy once (or even twice) a week… I’m not going to suddenly get fat(ter) again.

So what was the result of this bloody experiment? I dropped some weight and some inches… but I think that would have happened anyway. And I don’t have any additional energy – less in fact as I’ve been too restrictive on the calorie intake. A positive take-away is that I don’t seem to have any sensitivities to any of the foods I restricted. YAY COFFEE!

I’m glad it is over and that I can go back to eating in a less restricted but healthy way. I certainly won’t do it again. My personality just doesn’t allow for it.

Goal Tracking. Week 9.

This week: Success. On track for 9/52 weeks so far.

I didn’t think I was going to pull this off this week – right up until yesterday I was either the same weight or higher than last Tuesday. Yikesipops.

I think the “stall” is because I have been drastically under-eating… by accident. I just don’t think that I’m doing that much activity… but yesterday I walked/ran for a total of nearly 25km (at least 6km of which was running) and today I’ve walked 13km. So I’m burning more than I think.

Just today and tomorrow left and I’m done with the detox. I can’t flipping wait to eat some fruit!

Goal Tracking. Week 8.

This week: Success. On track for 8/52 weeks so far.

I hit a nice milestone this past week. I’ve now lost over 20 pounds. So this is a double-win week.

Also, a surprising improvement at the gym. I ran my sprints today and they were every bit as hard as they usually are. However… my recovery time was kick ass. My heart rate dropped back to normal in no time. So, winning.

Accuracy

I know I still need to write my review about my Fitbit. (Short review: I love it and it loves me. I know this, because it told me that once.) But I do have something to say around measurement and accuracy. And I’ll have to bring the Fitbit up because it is doing a lot of that measuring for me, bless it’s wee little heart.

In my attempt here to lose weight and be a healthy size (finally), I am using a few different tools for measurement:

1. A Withings scale – to track my weight, BMI, fat mass and muscle mass
2. The Fitbit – to track my food, activity, sleep
3. Runkeeper and Fitocracy – to track my exercise
4. A kitchen scale and all the little measuring cups and such
5. Measuring tape.

These are my measuring cups. Cute, eh?

 

None of these things are always 100% accurate.

The Withings scale I know is weighing me light. When I went to the doctor’s office, I weighed in heavier. And I don’t completely trust it for the body fat percentage either.

The Fitbit doesn’t know my heart rate, so how can it measure my caloric burn exactly? And some of the time when I enter food, I over-estimate. Or I over-simplify… surely not all “chef salads” are the same, so wouldn’t there be some caloric variances from that salad from the salad I ate if I choose that?

Runkeeper and Fitocracy are as accurate as the information I put into it. But I think the GPS on Runkeeper gets lost sometimes. And I can’t always find the exercise I am doing (like Tabata sprints or reclining rope pull-ups) on Fitocracy, so it doesn’t get recorded.

And the measuring cups and spoons? I may not always fill them properly. I don’t think everyone does. It’s either a smidgen too little or a little too heaping.

And I’m pretty sure I have no idea how to properly measure myself with that tape thing. In fact, I know I don’t.

This is definitely not my body. Yet.

But does this matter? I don’t think so. It isn’t that it is 100% accurate that matters. What matters is that you are getting feedback about what you are doing and how you are doing it. It matters if you are becoming more aware of your actions.

As an example, the  scale that (very kindly) weighs me light by a kilo or so… does that matter? Fuck no. What matters is that the number keeps getting smaller. That’s the part I should focus on.

Same with the Fitbit. It doesn’t matter if it is 100% accurate about my caloric burn versus the intake. What matters is that I am paying attention to what’s going into my body and how active I am being. And I can see that it doesn’t matter that I went to the gym that day if I’m going to eat an entire large Papa John’s pizza that night.

I think that’s what I need to keep in mind. It doesn’t matter if I’m measuring accurately. What matters is that I keep things moving the way they should be.

Pinteresting

Like so, so many other people… I’m on Pinterest. But unlike the 25 people or so that have auto-followed me in the last two weeks, I actually use it. A little.

Virtual scrapbooking. I don’t real-life scrapbook. But I do like to pin the odd thing here and there that interests me, or things that I would like to own one day. Stuff like that.

I think the best thing to come out of Pinterest are the following two websites… they often make me laugh. HOWEVER… a lot of times these images are definitely NSFW, so be careful when/where you check them out.

Pinterest, You Are Drunk

The description for this site is “Y’ALL ARE GOING A BIT OVERBOARD OVER THERE. I’M HERE TO HELP.”

One of my favourite recent pins was this one…

Makes being single seem like a great thing to be.

WTF, Pinterest?

I’m sure you can imagine that this one follows along the same lines. The description for this site is: “I am often inspired by what you pin to Pinterest.com, but sometimes, you make me say, “WTF”?”

A great recent pin?

I don't get it either

 

So. Whether you are new to Pinterest, a long time Pinterester, or someone who doesn’t give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut what the sweaty squirrel Pinterest is… these sites are worth having a look.

Goal Tracking. Week 7.

This week: Success. On track for 7/52 weeks so far.

But I need to confess something: I’m not feeling all that good about this week’s “success”. Yes, I am a lower weight since last week… but not that much lower. Which sucks, because I’ve been well behaved.

I’m trying to focus on the fact that I didn’t put this weight on really quickly (although it was rather effortlessly) and that it is dropping. I just wish it was as easy to take off as it was to put on. Stupid fatness.

On the plus side (no pun intended – ha ha) – Fitbit has informed me that it is no longer 16 October that I should hit my goal… but more like 23 September. Silly Fitbit! Don’t you know that I’m going to be a brat some weeks and drink all the beers? You should stick with that October date. I’m sure going to.

Christmas Wishes

I am FINALLY going through all my photos from last year and trying to get them uploaded. This year I’m going to try my best to a) take more photos and b) upload them regularly. Because uploading this many photos is NOT FUN.

Anyway… I found this picture in amongst my May photos from 2011…

24/12/09 - It's me Robert. I am seven on Christmas. My dad is poo. Merry Christmas.

 

I was with Eva in a pub near Black Friars Bridge that day. We had been just roaming around London and then stopped for lunch. I seem to remember that the food was okay and the ale was lovely. They had a guestbook lying around, and this entry was just one of many. It made me wonder about this poor 7 year-old kid, in the pub with his old man on Christmas Eve.

Who let me in the kitchen?

Yesterday Tyran bought this mixer machine thing. I’m pretty sure that’s what it said on the box.

like the window full of herbs and lemons?

There it is! It has other marvellous attachments (like a blender… Welcome to Margaritaville : Population – Me).

You can see in the picture I made some mayo (that’s the gloop in the jar, and I’ll write more about that later). But the very first thing I did was cut myself on the fucking thing. Twice.

first boo-boo

 

second boo-boo (the big cut)

After some emergency first aid (and a hell of a lot of whinging) I used the machine to first make mayonnaise and then the MOST GARLIC-FILLED GUACAMOLE IN THE UNIVERSE.

five cloves of garlics. and a shallot. vampires beware.

Now that I had some deliciousness happening, I decided I should probably pull something together for lunch. I had a butternut squash hanging around, so I thought I would roast that as a start.

I usually buy the squash already cut up (I’m lazy, yo), but this time I had a whole squash to cut up. Fresh-cut butternut squash smells good. It is like pumpkin… but more apple-ly. I was surprised that there were seeds in there. I don’t know why I was surprised. I suppose that’s what happens when you are used to buying all your food already processed.

lookit all those seeds!

Seeing those seeds gave me an idea: Could butternut squash seeds be roasted just like pumpkin seeds? They sure look the same. So I thought I would give it a try. Win! They did roast up exactly the same and were super delicious.

In the end, my lunch ended up being home-made mayonnaise (with chipotle paste – so good) with roasted butternut squash, guacamole (again, home-made – I rock) and tuna wrapped in seaweed with glutton-free soy sauce and with butternut squash seeds to finish. SO YUMMY.

I also had fresh iced tea. I used the blender to crush the ice for it (fancied it up a load, didn’t it?). It is just rooibos tea with ice and a sprig of mint. I’m getting very used to iced tea with no sugar or other sweeteners. Some teas (like rooibos) are fairly sweet naturally, so you don’t need to add anything to it.

nom nom nom

This lunch was WAY too big. It ended up being 1067 calories. I should have had half the amount and saved the seeds for a snack later. But it worked out okay – I ate this late in the day and just didn’t eat again, so I came out ahead of my ‘allotted’ calories that day (thank you Fitbit for tracking all that for me!)

It’s been an interesting month of eating well. It is delicious but a hella lot of work. I would definitely make this again – but would eat less of all of it.  Either just the tuna and avocado wrap or the squash… or half servings of both.

Meeting Burner – First Look

Today Meeting Burner (www.meetingburner.com) came out of beta and is now available to the adoring public. I was eager to give this a try right away, as I have a burning hatred for meetings and would like to see them all consumed in a holy fire of productivity.

Signing up for the free service was hella easy. The only snag was that if you want me to enter a valid email address as a username – say so before I click submit.

Once I was all signed up I needed a co-conspirator to try out the shiny new internet thing. Fortunately I work with geeks.

So Rich and I tried and tried to set up a meeting. Not as easy and intuitive as it looks on the surface… probably because we were trying to invite each other. Which you cannot do. You send out the meeting link and that’s it. That’s the invite. You can’t search for and invite other MeetingBurner users. Which is a bit odd, no?

The site itself is nice and the service is a great idea. I think it is missing that one piece – that you should be able to find and invite specific people so that the meeting ends up in their Meeting Burner schedule and they can easily click into the meeting if they are already logged in.

Once we had it up and running, it actually was nice. A great feature is that you can choose to share your entire screen, a particular program, or part of a screen. Could help avoid those potentially embarrassing Growl pop-ups during presentations.

I’ll definitely keep an eye on this one. It’ll be interesting to see how it ends up playing with other websites and apps. (By the way, there is an iPhone app, but I didn’t play with it yet. Meetings on the go-go?) If you want to try it, there is a free account available so you can have a play. I think this is a great option for small businesses and start-ups that don’t need something crazy like Web-Ex but do need something a bit more robust than what Skype can provide.

Goal Tracking. Week 6.

So, in an attempt to stay accountable to my goal, I’m going to announce if I was successful or not each week.

As I said in my previous post – my weight has dropped each week for the first five weeks. Going forward, I hope to do this each Tuesday.

This week: Success. On track for 6/52 weeks so far. Yay!